From WH Auden’s Christmas Oratorio For The Time Being:
And because of His visitation, we may no
longer desire God as if He were lacking: our
redemption is no longer a question of pursuit
but of surrender to Him who is always and
everywhere present. Therefore at every moment
we pray that, following Him, we may depart from
our anxiety into His peace.
The lines above are spoken from the point of view of Simeon. The Christmas narrative mentions Simeon briefly in Luke 2. Simeon was an old man wise in his years who waited for Jesus outside of the temple in Egypt. In fact, the Bible mentions that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that would not die until Jesus was revealed to him (Luke 2:27). Simeon means “God-receiver”. Can it not be said that that is all we can ever be? Graciously placed on the receiving end of a gift that comes from wholly outside of ourselves.
“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
For my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.” – Simeon (as he holds Jesus)
Speaking of old men that will melt your heart, check out our new favorite Christmas commercial. If this doesn’t melt your heart with Christmas cheer, I’m not sure what will.
Watch the video here